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Perverting Justice

By Bettina Arndt - posted Friday, 12 May 2023

Scotland is currently pushing ahead of Australia in the feminist drive to see more men behind bars but no doubt we will catch up soon. Their latest plan, announced in a proposed criminal justice bill last week, involves new laws to abolish jury trials in rape cases. Scottish lawmakers believe members of the public can't be trusted to adjudicate on sexual assault cases because they don't have the right attitudes.

According to Scottish law lecturer Stuart Waiton writing on, Scotland's justice department has claimed it is not possible for ordinary people to be "trauma-informed".

As Waiton suggests, it's worth thinking about what a trauma-informed approach to rape trials means in practice. He quotes a government document which explains that the trauma endured through rape can affect "the demeanour and presentation" of victims. That is, the trauma caused by the sexual offence "may make a victim appear less credible or reliable". But enlightened, trauma-informed judges "will recognise this behaviour as evidence of trauma – evidence, that is, that a crime has taken place," says Waiton. As he explains, the result is obvious: "And just like that a less-than-believable 'victim' can now be believed." Neat trick, eh?


Hmmm, if only the Brittany Higgins case could have been determined by an enlightened, trauma-informed judge, someone like Chief Justice Lucy McCallum perhaps, who could have seen Higgins' behaviour, described by Federal police as "evasive, uncooperative and manipulative," as clear evidence of her trauma. Oh well, lucky we had the public prosecutor Shane Drumgold to protect the traumatised Higgins and ensure no new jury had a chance of another go at her.

There's abundant evidence demolishing the whole notion of trauma-informed practice, as spelt out in a Centre for Prosecutor Integrity report on "trauma-informed junk science", which quotes an Air Force Office of Special Investigations assessment dismissing such approaches as based on "flawed science" and quoting numerous negative evaluations in journal articles and expert commentary.

Yet Australian courts may well end up soon following the same path as their Scottish equivalents. The Albanese government is busily repaying the debt owed to the feminists for helping destroy the Morrison government by pouring money into many of their pet projects – like tilting justice to help alleged rape victims. Last week they announced $14.7 million to "strengthen sexual assault laws and prevent further harm to victims through the justice process", adding to the $20 million announced in last year's budget for initiatives, including – wait for it – "trauma-informed legal services".

Across the country, there are advocates already pushing this agenda. It's an agenda that school children and their parents attending a charity event next September at St Luke's Anglican school in the Queensland coastal town of Bundaberg will not be expecting.

Somehow, a guest speaker has been included in this breast cancer fundraiser who has nothing to do with cancer. Trish Wyatt is a local woman whose claim to fame is as a self-described "rape victim". Yet the man she accused of violent sexual assault was found by a jury last year, after only 30 minutes of deliberation, NOT GUILTY on all charges in the Queensland District Court.

Clearly, Trish Wyatt is an inventive creature, so she used this slight hiccup in her narrative to her advantage by calling her new book "Don't Report Rape." She claims the fact that her violent perpetrator was found not guilty is proof that our justice system simply doesn't work. "Our justice system is so flawed and so broken that it provides a legal loophole or get out of jail free card for rapists," explains Wyatt.


Not just any rapist. She's alleging she's a victim of an "extremely violent and life-threatening" sexual assault - "I truly thought I wasn't going to survive that night" - taking place over an eight-hour period, which apart from repeated intercourse, allegedly included attempted strangulation, anal sex, fisting and a very strange form of fellatio which somehow involved him kneeling on her chest and forcing himself into her mouth. Hard to imagine how this worked unless he had extremely short legs or was extraordinarily well-equipped. No wonder the defence barrister suggested this never happened.

Read Wyatt's account of this horrendous ordeal and there's only one possible conclusion. The jury simply didn't believe beyond reasonable doubt that this all happened.

Wyatt suggests the reason is simple. They weren't trauma-informed. They didn't realise the behaviour that made her appear less credible or reliable was actually proof that she was traumatised by the rape.

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This article was first published on Bettina Arndt. If you like the work that Bettina is doing you should consider subscribing directly to her blog.

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Bettina Arndt is a social commentator.

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